I’m not sure what I thought this book would be, but “Working Girl meets Wolf of Wall Street”, as the Amazon blurb cites, seems fairly accurate, with the firm understanding that I absolutely hated Wolf of Wall Street down to the core of my being. Certainly Maureen Sherry nails the excess and the misogyny of being a woman in the financial industry, almost to the point of making it feel like a cartoon. My problem with this book was that it was deeply depressing to me that the main character, Belle, is an intelligent, well intended, honest, giving person and literally everyone in this story frigging hates her. Every other character treats her like crap, either through outright hostility or by condescension, and yet she just plugs on without one ounce of self-preservation in her overworked body until I’m beyond caring if she saves herself or not.
Are we supposed to find this perseverance noble? Unclear. Mostly I just found it annoying.
There’s a basic problem when you are asking your reader to be sympathetic to your million(s) dollar salary, your apartment on the Upper West Side, and a husband and three kids. Right away… disconnect. But, you are asked to believe, she “has it all” but she is unfulfilled and instead of doing anything sane (like quitting that horrible job, or filing a class action lawsuit for the harassment she is enduring every day, or leaving her obnoxious pious lazy husband who guilt trips her every day, or telling her ex-boyfriend/now client to screw off after the first or five thousandth mindfuck, or just maybe not volunteering to be snack mom when you work 80 hours a week… I’m just spit balling here) she basically just does nothing. And small problems become big problems and she continues to take responsibility for every issue on earth with an air of self-importance that is bordering on pathological.
While the book is well written and somewhat funny, I have enough trouble keeping my head above water on a daily basis, I don’t really need to read about people who hate their lives even more than I do sometimes. I became deeply tired of this story very quickly.
Grade – C